New Toy – Hobbyist Telescope For Children

A photo posted by Hong Chuan (@hongchuan) on


 

How do you impress your 6-year old at home? With tricks like this. Lol!

I bought a telescope from Taobao as my daughter’s Christmas gift. We didn’t really get started with this because it rained continuously for a few days.

So after one of my night runs few days back, I noticed that the sky was clear and the moon was in full view. I got the telescope setup quickly when I got home.

This is a budget telescope, very entry level. It has 60x magnification, cost me about SGD $90 including shipping from China.

Hobbyist Telescope from Taobao
Hobbyist Telescope from Taobao

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The build quality is not fantastic, but acceptable for the price. This is truly a beginner’s set.

Anyway, it took some time to get the hang of using the telescope. It didn’t help that the tripod was wobbly when fully extended. And it gets worse with the iPhone attached to the end of the telescope for snapping pictures.

The moon was very bright that night, so basically what I saw was one big bright patch when I got the telescope zoomed in on the moon. I was expecting to see the craters. So I went back to the instructions, they said use the ‘Moon Filter’. Missed that trying to get things setup fast.

This was the result which the filter.

View of the moon with filter
View of the moon with filter

Now the craters are clear. I was pretty excited at this point. It took me a while to get a clear shot.

Shot of the moon with telescope
Shot of the moon with telescope

So the result is the picture above, after turning it into black and white. My girl was pretty impressed when I showed her the picture the next morning. Shall try this again when we have the next full moon.

Working Out – A Challenge And Experiment

This started with my colleague declaring that he wants to work out and lose weight. So he roped us in to swimming and gym during lunch time. So the whole office knows we are working out and losing weight. It became a matter of principle now. If I said I will do it, I must. So this became a challenge.

And why is this an experiment? I know the proven way is to count calories and make sure input < output. So every meal has to be calculated. No carbs, more protein etc. I don’t doubt this methodology, but frankly I don’t think I have the discipline to follow through. Sometimes or rather most times, the stomach rules the mind. So I decided to just continue with my existing diet. I want to see what’s the effect after a couple of months. That said, it doesn’t mean I go gorge on sinful stuff. So this is the experiment.

My routine consists of walk and run + some high intensity exercises. I’m using Runkeeper to track my runs and another HIIT timer for the high intensity exercises.  This was where I started off.

This was run and walk. I couldn’t even do 400m of continuos run.

This is where I am today.

4km non-stop without much effort. I’m aiming to cut my 4km timing to under 25 mins.

So the observation and fine tuning over the last 2 months or so.

1. Tummy became softer. My guess is I’m losing visceral fats. So now I need to work on losing fat under the skin.

2. Still no major changes to my diet. I still eat my soy chicken and char siew. I added more fruits which I usually eat after the run. Yeah…this char siew.

Good for the stomach, bad for the heart. Stomach wins! Lol! #yummyfood

A photo posted by Lim Hong Chuan (@hongchuan) on

3. The high intensity exercises helped to strengthen my muscles on the legs and butt. That helped when I’m running on slopes.

5. I use a heart rate monitor to increase my pace gradually. My eventual heart rate zone is about 80-90% of the maximum heart rate and I maintain that pace for the last 2km.

4. Clothing sizes are down. Pants by 2 sizes and tops by 1. That feels great.

The experiment is still ongoing. I will continue to update my progress. Maybe some transformation selfies? No. :)

Pop-up ATM For Drawing New Notes – By DBS

I read from the papers that DBS has deployed pop-up ATMs this year for the drawing of new notes. The idea is to ease the queue and also serve folks who do not have time to queue at the bank during the operating hours. Some of these machines operate 24 hours. The locations and operating hours can be found here.

I thought this was a brilliant idea. I hate queuing for one, and one of the locations is just 5 mins walk from office.

Pop-up ATM for drawing new notes! No queue but need to do a few times. :) #brilliantidea

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And this is it, the pop up ATM. This is at Kreta Ayer Community Club. There are 3 machines deployed. The best part about it is that there’s no queue. I was expecting people to be queuing, judging from the queues at the bank. Maybe the awareness isn’t there yet. DBS also has a staff on-site to explain to people on the usage and give ang bao and chocolate. :)

DBS Ang Bao and Chocolate!
DBS Ang Bao and Chocolate!

A little suggestion here for DBS. Due to the pre-determined combination, I had to perform 4 transactions to get the amount of notes I want. This could be a bit challenging if there is a queue behind me. I hope DBS can analyse the pattern for this year and come out with more / better combinations. Take for instance, the $1,000 pack. It’s 16 pieces of 50, $20 pieces of $10. This combination would be better if they added in $2 as well. Or there could be a $1,200 or $1,500 option with all the various notes in.

Anyway, this is a great idea. Kudos to DBS. I do hope that they conclude this trial as a success and continue doing this next year. :)

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